By Enjeck Mbeh. Enjeck, 16, is a student at Step By Step High School, Ntarinkon. She lives in Bamenda, Cameroon. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

I suppose we have all had dreams. The beauty of being human is the diversity. We all have different goals, different passions, and different aspirations. But how far are you willing to go to achieve your goals? Do you always push forth despite the stumbles you encounter? Are you always determined to accomplish your passions despite everything?

As a kid, I had always wanted to become a writer. There was something about recording a fictional world in words that thrilled me beyond measure. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else in the nearest future. When I told anyone about my ambitions, I got some curt and harsh replies:

“What? No. Writing doesn’t pay.”

“Writing should be a hobby, not a career choice. Stop being ridiculous.”

“Look for a prestigious job. Like a doctor, for example.”

It’s amazing how it can take few words to get one discouraged. At times, it seems you have got your mind made up. Then someone pipes up and says something discouraging and your determination is washed away. The seed of doubt is sown in your mind and it sprouts, its thick foliage shrouding your own intuition. The voice of someone else is now threatening to take the place of yours.

All of a sudden, I’m thinking: what if they are right? When some people receive such discouraging comments they easily back down and drop their passions, like a heavy sack. Before you do that, consider one thing: do you want to spend your entire life doing something you do not like?

Like the saying goes: Life is short. Time flies so fast; a century may appear to have lasted for only a minute. Spend every second like it was your last. Who knows? It may be. A life where you spend every day doing what you do not love is not a life. At least, not one worth living. Sometimes, it is so much better to block out and not listen what people say.

A passion or intuition is powerful. Don’t be the kind of person who will let your future be dictated by some other person. You have to be ready to sit down and think for yourself: do I really want this? And if you do, don’t let another person decide for you. You have to be passionate about what you want and follow your heart. With enough resolve, it becomes easier to reach for your goals and achieve what you want.

It doesn’t only come down to career choices. There are numerous circumstances where we are influenced by others. How many times have you decided to ‘follow the crowd’? In all honesty, opinions hardly change overnight without any external influence. Something or someone may have somehow influenced your decision. One day, you may want to do this and the next day, you want to do that.

You need to have the drive to always push forth with your goals. As you may expect, there will be challenges. Challenges are a part of life. If you have the passion to succeed, you can crush any problem you face like a mere bug under your feet. Don’t be scared of failure. Consider failure to only be a fertilizer of success.

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